Shugakuin Rikyu (Imperial Villa) was a retreat designed by Emperor Go-mizunoo. It was completed in 1655 in the early Edo Era. The total area of the villa is 54,500 square meters, almost equal to that of Yoyogi Park in Tokyo. Ninety percent of the grounds are terraced fields and local farmers still cultivate them even now. The emperor loved working in the fields and communicating with farmers. There are three teahouses that are connected by paths through rice paddies lined with well-trimmed pine trees. Nijo-jo Castle, the Shogun's Kyoto residence at the same time in Japan's history was gorgeous and showy. But Shugakuin Rikyu was a simple, peaceful, and rustic place. You need to make a special application to visit this beautiful villa.
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Japan is a small island nation, but we have a huge number of surprising things to discover here. Many of these delights can be found when you step off the main street onto small side paths. I really enjoy studying about and researching various aspects of traditional Japanese culture, and then sharing this information with visitors to Japan. I hope you will enjoy it, too! ARTICLE INDEX & PHOTOS: An index of most of my Japan Travel articles can be found at the entry page of my blog, and my photos are shown here. 日本はとても小さな国ですが、大通りから一本小道に入ればたくさんの発見があります。日本人が積み重ねてきた歴史を学びながら、古い建物や庭を訪ね、物語の舞台となった景色を眺めて、皆様といっしょに日本文化の奥深さを探求していきたいと思います。